Love Trumps Nothing

By Kyle Sebastian Vitale.With the November elections, as with so many recent social conflicts, the word love has re-entered our national lexicon. Hashtags, t-shirts, and protests announce that “Love Trumps Hate.” Hurting voters express love for the refugee, the Muslim, the LGBTQIA+ through moving Facebook posts. Meanwhile, President-Elect Trump claims electoral victory to the tune of a new nationalism that expresses love of country in a spectrum of colors.Yet these same pathways also … [Read more...]

Trump as Archetype: The Golem Has Run Amok

By Shalom Goldman.A year ago, as U.S citizens of both political parties were developing a fascination with Donald Trump, no pundits came forth with a mythic or religious way to understand Trump's appeal or his ability to strongly repel those not attracted to him.  As I teach college courses on the intersection of religion and politics, I was hoping that someone quicker and wiser than I am would come forward to situate the Donald in the world of archetypes, and remove him—if only br … [Read more...]

Diwali and the Election: Truth, Light, and Meaning in the Voting Booth

 By Anantanand Rambachan.Diwali is the Hindu festival of light, and we pray each year to be led from untruth to truth (asato mā sad gamaya), from darkness to light (tamaso mā jyotir gamaya), and from the transient to that which has ultimate value (mṛtyor mā amṛtaṃ gamaya). The truth that we pray for on Diwali is the truth of goodness and righteousness. It is truth that challenges us to search into our minds, hearts and traditions for the ethical values that guide our daily choice … [Read more...]

Mike Pence on the “American Heartland” and the Holy Land

By Shalom Goldman, Middlebury College. The Republican Party platform, posted last week, gives the American-Israeli relationship considerable space. Pundits in the U.S. and Israel have duly noted the absence in the platform of any reference to a "two-state solution"—a phrase that appeared in the 2012 Republican platform but has now become identified with the Democratic Party and the State Department tenures of Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. Republicans are by inference rejecting … [Read more...]

Setting the Global Table

By Rev. Dr. Joel C. Hunter.  Food and faith go way back:The pretzel is supposed to remind one of a child kneeling in prayer, invented by French monks around 610 A.D. The extreme length of the average rice noodle represents longevity, particularly important to those of the Taoist tradition. Ancient kitchens had to quickly get rid of their ingredients the day before Lent, which led to the experiment that became the pancake. Matzo is unleavened bread, meant to … [Read more...]

Brexit: What Happened? And What’s Next?

By David Binder.  A day is a long time in politics.At 10pm Thursday, 23 June, polling stations closed in regard to a UK-wide referendum of the UK’s membership of the European Union (EU).In the words of The Clash: Would we stay or would we go?The polls, betting markets, conventional wisdom, and even Nigel Farage (arguably the leading figure of the ‘Leave’ campaign) all indicated that we would vote to remain in the EU. How wrong they all were! By Friday morning, by a pe … [Read more...]

Christianity and Culture in the 2016 Election

By Jim Rotholz.a katz / Shutterstock.com  Election years reveal much about American culture that otherwise lies hidden from view. The 2016 presidential contest has been especially revealing, exposing a modern-day form of tribalism that afflicts Americans across the political spectrum.One essential trait of tribal affiliation is establishing social borders: line-drawing, “us” versus “them,” “our people” against “not our people.” In the American political arena it has devolved i … [Read more...]

Religious Communities: Welcoming the “One-Percent”

By Shaun Casey.The success of refugee resettlement undoubtedly has required a “whole of society collaboration,” and it is a woefully under-told good news story.  During the past few months, I’ve been privileged to have one-on-one conversations with some of the “1 percent” in the United States. To be clear, I’m not talking about the wealthiest of the approximately 318 million Americans in the United States. I’m referring to refugees resettled in cities like Des Moines … [Read more...]

Poland’s Battle Between Theocracy and Secular Democracy

By Beth Holmgren, Duke University.   In early April, the Middle Ages engaged in an unusual skirmish with the 21st century in cities across Poland. During a Sunday mass in this overwhelmingly Catholic country, priests read their congregations a letter from the Polish Episcopate calling for an unconditional ban on abortion. Scores of women then walked out in protest, their exodus filmed in famous churches such as St. Mary’s Basilica in Gdańsk and Saint Anne’s Church in Wars … [Read more...]

Daniel Berrigan and Rabbi Ben-Zion Gold: Missing Voices for Human Worth

By Shalom Goldman.Embed from Getty ImagesApril saw the passing of two very courageous American religious figures, the Rev. Daniel Berrigan and Rabbi Ben-Zion Gold. Berrigan, a Catholic priest and member of the Jesuit order, had reached the age of 94. Rabbi Gold, a Conservative rabbi, was 92.Berrigan was born in 1921 to a working-class Catholic family in the Midwest. Gold was born in Poland in 1923 and with his family was deported to Auschwitz at age 17; he was the only one of hi … [Read more...]